June 11, 2017
Musical Nature is the recording alias of Rhode Island based electronic music composer Geoff Varosky. His latest album, Eavesdropping, features six compositions varying in length from seven to under nine-and-a-half minutes, which notably draw upon the ambient-techno style of music pioneered in the early 1990’s by electronica bands like The Orb and The Future Sound of London. Interweaving what could be described as free-floating background and foreground layers of synthesized textures and environmental field recordings, experimental beats and industrial nuances frequently lend both an edgy crunchiness and contrasting bit of chaos throughout.
The opening piece, “Common Code”, is also the album’s most dreamy and minimal number, characterized by echoing environmental textures comprised of hollowed metallic timbres, synthesized loops and distant muffled voices. Soft pads drift into the free-flowing soundscape that encircles the listener, in which one is solitarily removed from all the human hustle-and-bustle that can be heard just outside of this seemingly dome-like environment. Continuing into the equally dreamlike “Brown Sauce”, distorted signals and unintelligible voices are intercepted along the way by icy shimmers and seagull calls. A processed repeating drum loop accompanies the piece throughout, although serving less as a foundational rhythm and more as an additional textural layer, which lies just outside the bounds of an inner circle as it produces a ping-pong effect across the listening space. Easily my favorite piece on the album, it somewhat recalls The Orb’s “Back Side of the Moon” from their 1991 classic, The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld. “Independence Day” moves into a more urbanized setting with crunchy distortion, amelodic jazz samples and experimental trip-hop beat. The piece nicely segues into “Victoria”, which conveys an underground semblance of industrial machinery that’s highly reminiscent of The Future Sound of London’s 1994 ISDN album. Initially reverting to the dreamier atmosphere of the opening piece, spacey voices and warped sci-fi sounds swirl about “The Tuesday Noon Siren”, eventually giving way to a bouncy, bass-laden downtempo groove. The final track, “The White Horse”, is most similar in composition to “Victoria”, albeit slightly toned down.
Recalling past works by The Orb, Autechre, FSOL and Spacetime Continuum, Eavesdropping is just the kind of album that would seem right at home on the long-standing Warp or Astralwerks labels. Its vividly blurry and beautifully surreal environment is one that seemingly leaves the listener unable to quite figure out where they’re at throughout its journey. An always welcoming and thoroughly enjoyable sound to hear acknowledged and expanded upon, Eavesdropping is especially recommended for fans of any of the aforementioned artists, as well as those who appreciate continually innovative and cutting edge styles of electronic music! ~Candice Michelle
Thank you so much Candice! Definitely give Journeyscapes radio a listen when you have a chance. Candice carefully curates a theme for each of her weekly one-hour broadcasts. Always great to hear old classics and find new music in the realm of ambient, chillout, downtempo, ethereal, new age and world fusion.